Monthly Archives: August 2010

August in my garden

Rudbeckia hirta. 'Black-eyed Susan'

After a month’s vacation, I came back to find that my garden help did not show up to water and weed as I had expected.  The harsh reality of a very hot August with little rain sunk in, as I took in the sight of a lot of very dry garden beds and flower pots and lots and lots of weeds.  Time to roll up my sleeves and get to work, The great need for water became my first task:

Water and then water some more. Every hose had been doing double duty this week.  The perennial beds have soaker hoses from end to end.  I placed my soaker hoses in the ground before the mulch went in,  this cuts down on water evaporation and deliver a steady but slow dose where needed.  All recently planted trees or shrubs get a dripping hose at least once a week for a good long soak.  Pay special attention to established trees as well.  They could benefit from a good long drink.  The only thing not worth watering is the lawn. Grass goes dormant in very hot weather, it may look burnt and yellowed but as soon as it gets some rain it springs back and will continue growing.

Pull those weeds before they set seed! I usually make a pass thru all my beds at least once a week,  but a month is a stretch.  I have pulled thousands of weeds this week.  It appears that if there was a bit of open soil anywhere, it was quickly populated by the healthiest looking crabgrass, dandelion and such, happily growing and seeding themselves with admirable tenacity,  oh, if only my perennials grew with such vigor!

Deadheading is a very rewarding and necessary chore, it encourages perennial and annual plants alike to keep producing blooms a little longer.  There are many reasons why deadheading is important.  First of all, the welfare of the plant.  By removing spent blooms, the plant transfers its energy to keep producing more flowers -or a stronger plant- and not in forming seeds. In some cases this will allow the plant to bloom a lot longer.  Second, for aesthetic reasons, the overall appearance of the plant is improved making it look neat and compact. Finally, by deadheading you can keep some perennials that are notorious for reseeding from spreading.

So, the work goes on, I am happy to be back and in my garden where I feel totally in my element…

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed
and not a valuable plant, is to pull on it.
If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

saying by Author Unknown